Djilas (was: Re: Questions about "Slobo")

Tom Siblo tsiblo at
Fri Feb 15 21:27:19 MST 2002

Djilas was a brillant intellectual who defined what he saw and was willing
to risk his life and freedom for it.  There are few in history who are
willing to do this. However, it is my opinion he did not consider himself
either a "socialist or a communist." This does not mean his work should be
negated because he experienced first hand what most of us have no conception
of what really was happening.

There are those who see him as an enemy to socialism. It is our job as
Marxist to gain an understanding of his works and to research whether or not
his conclusions are justified by the facts and reality of the concerte
material conditions in existence at the time.

As Marxist his work can serve as the antithesis. Our job is to bring about a
real balance sheet. This is different than offering apologies. When we
locate mistakes then we need to illustrate them and offer contructive
criticism less we avoid the same problems in the future. Marx and Engels
never provided us with a road map for socialism.  There are going to be
transitions to and from socialism before the world ever is ready for
communism. It is going to take time and it is by our hard work we can learn
the important lessons and provide this information to future socialist

I can think of one important lesson the need for workers democracy being
established first and foremost and from the democratic process must come the
planning of the socialist economy.  The combined lessons of the USSR and
other countries still in transition requires the modern Marxist to seriously
study their history and determine what makes real sense rather than
repeating forever the same slogans and programs long since transformed by
the material conditions of modern society.

Tom Siblo
Catskill, NY 12414

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